Premieres, awards and international flavour at CIFF

Dream Land will be one of the film’s premiering at the CIFF.  Photo supplied
Dream Land will be one of the film’s premiering at the CIFF. Photo supplied

Premieres, awards and international flavour at CIFF

The 2015 Cambodia International Film Festival running December 4 to 10 is set to feature a clutch of Cambodian film premieres, the first ever gala Cambodian film awards and a huge line-up of international films.

Festival programmer Cedric Eloy this week confirmed that the festival would host the world premieres of Cambodian noir thriller Before the Fall, set in the days before the Khmer Rouge takeover of Phnom Penh, and the documentary Camp 32, about Cambodian-Australian Hom Chhorn’s search for the Khmer Rouge camp where he was interred as a child.

It will also feature the first Cambodian screenings of the documentary The Roots Remain, the UK-produced sci-fi thriller Listening, Marc Eberle’s Cambodian Space Project documentary Not Easy Rock and Roll and Dream Land, a dramatic feature set in modern-day Phnom Penh, which have already been screened elsewhere.

Organised by the Cambodian Film Commission and Bophana Center and now in its sixth year, the CIFF has steadily grown in popularity. Last year guests had to be turned away from some sessions due to overcrowding.

With that in mind, a nominal fee is to be charged this year, with tickets costing $1 each or 10 for $5 going on sale an hour before each film.

“We want to make sure the people who come actually want to see that film,” Eloy said. “Ultimately, film is not free.”

Along with the screenings, this year’s CIFF will for the first time include an awards ceremony to recognise the Cambodian film industry’s best films and efforts in acting.

“A selection of eight Cambodian films are in the running,” Eloy said.

Eloy said the finalised line-up would also include showcases of Malaysian, French and Japanese films; a “roadshow” of six films presented by the Asian Film Awards (known as the “Oscars of Asia”); and short, animated, documentary and children’s programs.

In total the festival will offer more than 80 films and over 200 screenings at Major Cineplex, Platinum Cineplex, all three Legend Cinemas, the Chaktomuk Theater, the upgraded French Institute cinema, and the Bophana Center during the seven days. There will also be special guests and filmmaker presentations.

The ultimate goal of the festival, Eloy said, was to encourage Cambodians to go to the cinema in order to develop a big enough audience for a sustainable local film industry.

“We want to bring people to theatres, get people to go see films all year long and diversify what people like.”

Post Weekend is an offical media partner of the Cambodia International Film Festival. For more festival details check cambodia-iff.com. Program information will be released towards the end of November.

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